Old Colony History Museum

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Part One

By William F. Hanna

“Without warning I was smashed against the floor. Like a specimen butterfly pinned on a lab corkboard I was immobilized in a position only a contortionist could praise . . . …


By William F. Hanna

On November 30, 1993, in the East Room of the White House, President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to environmental activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. As frail as she was, the 103-year old “Grande Dame of the Everglades” was able to rise from her…


by Katie MacDonald

A common first question in Introduction To Museum Studies in graduate school is “What is a museum?”. It’s a classic opening question asked to encourage conversation among a group of people about to study together and develop their professional approaches to museum work. Of course, there is…


By William F. Hanna

Of all the men and women from this area who have participated in professional sports, among the least famous — but most successful — was Ralph Moody. Born and raised in Dighton, Massachusetts, Moody spent his life trying to make automobiles run faster. As a teenager…


By William F. Hanna

A cold winter rain began after dark on Wednesday, February 9, 1886, and with the temperature hovering around the freezing point, it hit the ground and quickly turned to slush, coating muddy streets and placing added stress on telegraph and electric wires. All night and through…


By William F. Hanna

One day in January 1976, Carol Scofield, of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was driving along Winthrop Street about two miles west of the Taunton Green when she spotted an aging, deteriorating structure beside the busy road. It was a 40-foot high rendition of a wooden milk bottle…


By William F. Hanna

In the spring of 1852, as Reverend Samuel Hopkins Emery was writing his two-volume church history of Taunton, he came upon a research problem that brought his project to a halt. A talented biographer, Emery was producing a chronological study of the local ministry when he…


(1932–2000)

By William F. Hanna

In June 2000, ten teachers retired from the Taunton public school system, but only nine of them thought it was something to celebrate. The tenth was Hattie Williams Cunningham, a veteran teacher who, but for the illness that was stealing her life away, would have…


By William F. Hanna

Here’s a story that describes two intersecting tragedies, and it shows yet again that despite the wonderful information-gathering power of the Internet, some historical events will always defy our efforts to fit them into a coherent narrative.

In June 1923 a young boy was found abandoned…


Thoughts on Christmas in Taunton, 1639–1856

by William F. Hanna

On Christmas Day 1856, J.W.D. Hall, editor of The American Whig, published in Taunton, sat down to write a Christmas message to his subscribers. Earlier in the year, the state of Massachusetts had finally recognized Christmas, along with Washington’s Birthday and the Fourth of July, as…

Old Colony History Museum

We are a local history museum in Taunton, MA and this is our blog! Visit us online at www.oldcolonyhistorymuseum.org to learn even more. Enjoy!

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